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Observer II

Bloody Sunday -

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Don't be silly 😒.

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you can't just have carte Blanche to shoot people, unarmed people, just because you are in the army, quite the opposite.  Soldiers are there to defend us not execute us.  A trial is the right thing in my opinion and let justice run its course.

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The soldiers at the time genuinely believed they were being shot at and retaliated. Innocent people were injured or killed and maybe a few guilty were as well.

That a soldier can be prosecuted for doing his/her duty does make me wonder why people would now sign up to defend a country that will not defend them.

I also wonder what the Americans stance is on "friendly fire" incidents. were any of the people involved prosecuted for that or was it filed under "mistakes happen and lessons were learned".

The problem with urban unrest is that it is difficult to determine the innocent from the guilty when a "terrorist" can lob a brick at a soldier and walk round a corner and become and ordinary citizen in three paces "what me guv naw you must have me mixed up with somebody else".

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Most of the time the armed forces in NI were very reserved in their response to terrorist action. I remember a very apt  Giles cartoon from the time where a squaddie says " If another one of them bricks bounces of my head i'm going to ask my sergeant to ask the captain to write to my MP to see if i can fire a rubber bullet back ".

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The armed forces have to be held to a higher standard than terrorists they are supposed to be fighting i.e. before shooting anyone they should have been very certain that what they were doing was justified. In the case of some of these soldiers, and soldier "F" being one, it has been shown forensically that the people they shot and killed were murdered, being unarmed and offering no threat to the soldiers. So you can't really say that they should be forgiven just because the IRA terrorists have been let off, two wrongs don't make a right etc. They were put into NI to protect civilians, not to kill them.

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I suppose the peace keeping conditions would have understandably made the soldiers very jumpy ,not knowing if there was a sniper behind every window or a bomb under every car.  Perhaps UN troops with blue helmets would have been more acceptable to all factions as peace keepers.

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Don't agree with Asp;  the point of the GFA was to bring closure to "the troubles" with a "peace deal";   in which known IRA killers were given letters of immunity from prosecution by T Bliar; imo, that should have applied to all.  We've now got a 50 year old incident being dredged up to satisfy relatives of some of the victims;  when the relatives of the soldiers, policemen and civilians murdered by IRA or UDA gangsters  go without closure. 

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5 hours ago, Evil Sid said:

The soldiers at the time genuinely believed they were being shot at and retaliated. Innocent people were injured or killed and maybe a few guilty were as well.

That a soldier can be prosecuted for doing his/her duty does make me wonder why people would now sign up to defend a country that will not defend them.

I also wonder what the Americans stance is on "friendly fire" incidents. were any of the people involved prosecuted for that or was it filed under "mistakes happen and lessons were learned".

The problem with urban unrest is that it is difficult to determine the innocent from the guilty when a "terrorist" can lob a brick at a soldier and walk round a corner and become and ordinary citizen in three paces "what me guv naw you must have me mixed up with somebody else".

All of which can be offered as evidence of mitigating circumstances in a court of Law.  Just  because you are in the armed forces it does not give you the right to impunity or immunity  from prosecution if you break the law.

 

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I do not know what the standing orders were that applied that day. If it was "do not to shoot no matter what the provocation" then the soldiers should not have been armed with live rounds.

If it was left to the discretion of the officer commanding then whomever gave HIM those orders was at fault.

OK following orders has been a defence for many war trial, usually without much success, but without orders and left up the discretion of the individual you do not have an army you have a parliament.

I do not disagree with you PJ If a crime has been committed then prosecute but make it a fair playing field for all. No immunity, no "get out of jail free card" for anybody.

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Each soldier would have been issued with a card, an aide memoir, on the rules of engagement, which would mainly assist if they were alone. As you say Sid, the Army, by it's very nature, has to operate on the basis of obeying the orders of a superior rank, otherwise they become merely a mob themselves. Now we have armchair lawyers on the case, without any knowledge or experience of the sheer terror for a young squadie,  facing an unruly mob, with the possibilty of being shot by snipers from nearby flats. WE place them in such a position (via our Gov) in order to restore law and order, otherwise we have anarchy; then wonder why these things happen. But in a situation of civil unrest, where tit for tat murders are being carried out;  you have a cycle of revenge, and when it's finally all over, as with GFA;  one searches for peace and reconcilliation, which should apply to all or none imo.  Anything less is unjust and unfair.

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Perhaps if the soldiers involved had told the truth to the enquiry, closure could have been achieved. As it is it has been allowed to fester all these years.

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On 3/16/2019 at 10:39 AM, asperity said:

The armed forces have to be held to a higher standard than terrorists they are supposed to be fighting i.e. before shooting anyone they should have been very certain that what they were doing was justified. In the case of some of these soldiers, and soldier "F" being one, it has been shown forensically that the people they shot and killed were murdered, being unarmed and offering no threat to the soldiers. So you can't really say that they should be forgiven just because the IRA terrorists have been let off, two wrongs don't make a right etc. They were put into NI to protect civilians, not to kill them.

Completely agree

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I cannot imagine when faced with the situation of shots being fired, especially given the conditions at the time, that anybody is going to ask a person running towards them screaming if they are innocent or a terrorist bent of doing you a mischief. You are probably thinking am i going to get out of this alive and with all my significant bits still attached, if you have time to think.

During a "war" fighting the enemy is relatively "easy" as they are usually the people in uniforms with guns shooting at you. With civil unrest every person has to be treated as a potential enemy until shown otherwise. Is that guy with the big meat cleaver a butcher taking it to be sharpened or an enemy who ,once close enough, is going to start hacking lumps out of you?

The americans seem to have a simpler approach to warfare/civil unrest. shoot first and if they move keep shooting until they don't move. if they are still alive at the end of it then maybe ask them questions like "Are you coming quietly". if they are dead then there is no need to ask questions, either way a win for them.:roll:

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That's all very well Sid, but in the case being referred to the people that were shot weren't "running towards the soldier screaming".

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1 hour ago, Observer II said:

Perhaps the squadies  should have added "pretty please", when ordering the crowd to disperse ? !      🙄

Perhaps you should read the findings of the Saville enquiry before making stupid and flippant remarks about the death of 28 unarmed civilians Obs.

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On 3/19/2019 at 4:36 PM, asperity said:

Perhaps you should read the findings of the Saville enquiry before making stupid and flippant remarks about the death of 28 unarmed civilians Obs.

What, Obs, read a report, before firing with both barrels, Take comfort asperity, that the English tradition of having a village idiot is alive and well in Warrington

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